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July fruit gardening tips.

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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:45 pm    Post subject: July fruit gardening tips. Reply with quote

July fruit gardening tips.
by GPI

July is a busy month in the fruit garden, with strawberries, raspberries, currants, cherries and early plums reaching a stage where picking becomes an important, but welcome task for the gardener. While out fruit picking, the diligent gardener should inspect the health of all their fruiting crops whether harvesting from them at that time or not. There are four fruiters that I would advise you to give attention to this month.

Even though apple trees may have dropped fruits in June due to over-cropping, they may still require thinning if overcrowded with apples. When thinning first remove the damaged and blemished apples leaving the clean smooth specimens. Central fruits within clusters should next be removed if required.

Apples may still require thinning if overcrowded, photo / pic / image.

If apple scab is a problem, you can apply a spray containing mancozeb for the control of this disease, up until late July. July is also the month to tackle woolly aphids on apple trees, which appear as a white fluffy coating on stems, if left, these pests will only become more of a problem as the summer progresses. Use a brush dipped in methylated spirits to sweep them away or else apply a spray specifically for edible fruit trees containing the ingredient bifenthrin.

Cleanly cut back the side-shoots on gooseberry bushes as far as the swelling fruits. This will allow sunlight to reach the fruits, quickening and completing ripening. Keep an eye out for the leaf cutting pest, the gooseberry sawfly, a caterpillar like larvae which can be organically dealt with by spraying with salty water.

Damaged fruit and leaves on strawberry plants aid the spread of the grey mould-like disease known as Botrytis, so remove all injured plant parts you come across. If you require fresh strawberry plants for next season, you can still peg down the long strawberry shoots or runners to encourage new plants to put down roots. A piece of wire bent in half pushed into the soil or a light rock laid on top of a runner will ensure rooting due to firm soil contact.

In a very similar fashion to your strawberry propagation, new blackberry plants can be created for free at this time of year. You can use a method known as tip layering, where a long, flexible blackberry stem is bent to the ground to allow burying of the stems tip beneath the surface of the soil. Again, like with the strawberry you must peg down the tip with a small bent piece of wire to prevent it coming loose. Water in well and leave the layer to root. A fresh plant should grow up from the buried tip, ready for severing from its parent the following autumn or spring.

So its now time to get busy with these July fruit jobs, as before we know it, along will come August with a whole new set of tasks for the active fruit gardener.

Any queries or comments on July fruit gardening tips, please post below.

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